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Multi-System Inflammatory State

  • Category
    Health Issues
  • Published
    5th May, 2020

Doctors have picked up a slight rise in the number of children of all ages needing intensive care treatment for a condition called “multi-system inflammatory state”.

Context

Doctors have picked up a slight rise in the number of children of all ages needing intensive care treatment for a condition called “multi-system inflammatory state”.

About

  • Multi-system inflammatory state is a severe immune response that can affect the body in multiple ways, most importantly by making the blood vessels leaky, a condition called Kawasaki disease.
  • This leads to low blood pressure and a build-up of fluid in the lungs and organs. It is extremely serious.
  • Patients need urgent intensive care to support the heart, lungs and sometimes other organs such as the kidneys.

Symptoms:

  • The children have overlapping symptoms of two diseases:
    • toxic shock syndrome: TSS is where bacteria gets into the body and releases harmful toxins that cause a temperature and flu-like symptoms, as well as nausea and vomiting and a loss of consciousness in severe cases.
    • unusual Kawasaki disease: A rare vascular condition that is the main cause of acquired heart disease in under-18s in the UK
  • But other symptoms have also been observed in children, including abdominal pain, gastrointestinal problems and heart inflammation.
  • There is no evidence that the condition is caused by any change in the virus, as that would have shown up in adults first.
  • But it may be a post-infection inflammatory response triggered by the coronavirus.
  • This has been seen in adults, who tend to be more ill in the second phase of the infection, when the initial lung disease gives way to inflammatory damage.

Is it related to Covid-19?

  • That is the concern, but doctors don’t know. Hospitals have seen it in children who have tested positive and negative for the coronavirus, but test results are not 100% reliable.
  • It may be a rare coronavirus-related inflammatory syndrome that has taken time to come to light, or it may be caused by another pathogen entirely.
  • The NHS said it was important for clinicians to be aware of any emerging links so they can give children the right care quickly.

 

Way forward:

At present, Doctors and infectious disease experts are not sure about the new condition. They are still learning about the condition because it is still very new.

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